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Well, it has been a couple fortnights since I last posted, but between getting College graduation under wraps and transferring back home, I honestly haven't had the time to just sit down and enjoy a nice blog sesh. But enough about me.

As I mentioned, I'm fresh out of college and have an abundance of time on my hands now that I'm stuck searching the rather stagnant job market. What better way to invest this time than into a strategy RPG?

Having played only a few acts out of Disgaea, I came to appreciate how fricken complicated that game was. I think I may have found one that tops it. Knights in the Nightmare is a relatively new sRPG produced by none other than niche publisher Atlus, whom I've had a love hate relationship since, well, ever. Each game they produce usually follows a pretty standard formula, but the Sting Entertainment group who put it together seemed to say 'fuck that' and did their own thing.

The most apt way I can categorize the game is as a tactical-shmup-RPG. As confusing as that sounds, that's probably --in all modesty-- the best way to describe the game play. I'll try to describe it as concisely as possible.

SO, basically (I say that with extreme caution), you control a wandering soul termed the Wisp, which is capable of inhabiting bodies of deceased Knights to fight for you. With each action a portion of your time (usually 60 seconds) is taken away. The catch is that the warriors that fight for you can take no damage. Instead, as you float the wisp around the battle-field, enemies shoot 'bullets' at your Wisp in pure old-school shmup fashion. If the wisp is hit by one of these bullets, a portion of alotted time is detracted from your timer. Once the timer hits zero, the round ends, and you must start anew in the next round. All in all it's a race against the clock to clear the board of enemies.

I apologize if that sounds confusing (re-reading it, it is a pretty poor summary). It would probably be a wiser route to watch the tutorial video produced by IGN. It imparts a pretty decent understanding of the game mechanics, and shows off some of the great hand drawn art that is present throughout the game.

In addition to the complex battle system is the endless amounts of micromanaging you'll be doing in between battles via leveling your troops and upgrading and combining weapons. OCD and number hungry strategists will be in heaven. I've gotten through about a dozen battles now and I'm still not any where near having a full understanding of the number crunching going on.

Actually, some of the features talked about in the in-game tutorial I haven't even begun to approach yet. Honestly, I'm not sure I ever will. Regardless, I am still happy with my purchase. The near infinite amounts of customization and synthesis possibilities will keep me more than happy for quite some time, and if I ever do get around to educating myself more fully, then there'll likely be a hell of a lot more for me to do. The mechanics of this game are a welcome departure from those of traditional sRPG's, and hopefully games in the same genre will start to experiment with new ideas as well.

If you're willing to put in some time and effort to get down the basics, you'll find that you'll enjoy this game as much as I am.

-Alocide







Alocide
11:01 PM on 12.02.2008

So over Thanksgiving break I took the mandatory trip through my gaming library to play through some of my favorites while awaiting the grand feast that was being prepared. I played some tidbits of my all time faves including Star Ocean 2, some Guitar Hero with my brother, and a dash of Fable 2. All fine and dandy, a great holiday really.

Later that weekend, my brother revealed to me that he had re-upped our World of Warcraft subscription because he had installed the new expansion (we share an account and trade off who's playing when).

Lo and behold...I think I'm hooked again. He showed me around some of the new content, including the new Death Knight class, and my goodness I don't think I've ever been more enthralled with the game. In fact after watching him play for about an hour as his Death Knight, I decided that I absolutely had to have one and sat down for a few hours with the game again to start up my freshly created blood-spec knight of deadly awesome.

Unfortunately I left home having only invested about 3 hours into the new character to return to school. I made the conscious decision to not upload the expansion to my computer so I wouldn't be tempted to play (and in one cataclysmic swoop watch as all my hard work invested in this semester came crashing down). Funny enough, I've been craving the game. Literally craving. I can't stop thinking about how I should properly a lot the remainder of my talent points, or how I should go about re-speccing my hunter now that there are new talents in his trees. Not to mention it looks absolutely gorgeous on my Dad's 24 inch mactop.

I'm not sure why at this juncture I need to play again. I out and out quit when I came to school, relinquishing my (at the time) 60 hunt master to my bro so that I could focus on my studies and not become another WoW-fail statistic. I honestly haven't missed it. Sure I joke about it with my buddies at school from time to time, throwing in an occasional reference over some drinks for some lulz, but never enough to make me miss the game.

However, it seems that I have some unfinished business to take care of in Azeroth/Outlands/Northrend now. I play on Dragonblight, my hunter goes by Alocide, and my newly made DK is Toxico [creative, I know]. Hit me up and indulge in addiction with me...

-Alocide